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September 26, 2016 / 23 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Habayit Hayehudi’

New Lapid Bennett Axis Enters Coalition Talks Together

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Now it’s getting real, at least according to the newly right-wing daily Maariv: the chairman of Yesh Atid, the leather-jacketed, cool TV journalist and host Yair Lapid, and the chairman of Habayit Hayehudi, the knitted yarmulke wearing, hi-tech wizard, NRP resurrecting Naftali Bennett have agreed on coordinating their positions when facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition negotiations team.

Both leaders – the two most distinct winners of the recent election – have been holding their own negotiations, and agreed to present a unified position as their conditions for joining the next government.

Together, their two parties present a formidable block of 31 seats, equal to the Likud-Beitenu yield in the elections. Should they stick by their mutual commitments—which, in itself would be a refreshing Israeli phenomenon—they could easily force Netanyahu’s hand away from a partnership with the two Haredi parties, Shas and Torah Judaism. Those two only have a measly 18 seats to offer the embattled PM.

According to Maariv, which has recently been purchased by Shlomo Ben-Tzvi’s Hirsch Media, owner of the right-wing daily Makor Rishon—and as such is very reliable on issues concerning Bennett and the settlements movement—the two parties agreed that they would either join the coalition together or not at all. (This means that, should both remain outside the government, Lapid would be Opposition leader, to Labor’s Shelly Yachimovich’s chagrin).

Senior Likud officials have confirmed, according to Maariv, that such an agreement really exists, adding that it significantly limits Netanyahu’s room for maneuvering.

Netanyahu’s ideal coalition government would rely on Jewish Home, Shas and Torah Judaism (61 seats) with Kadima’s additional 2 seats and Shaul Mofaz, possibly, as Defense Minister. Indeed, Bibi has no interest in inviting Lapid to a seat of power in his government, which could make him even more popular four years from now.

So that, strangely enough, it is Lapid who depends on Bennett rather than the other way around, to keep his word. But, political nickels and dimes aside, the two men can only help each other by being known to cooperate publicly: two young men, both successful in their own rights, injecting honesty and principles into Israel’s cynical, depressing, old politics. And as such they’re certainly making Bibi look bad.

One man to watch for is Israel Beiteinu’s chairman Avigdor Liberman, who appeared pessimistic on Sunday regarding the possibility of putting together a viable coalition. “It’s very difficult to find a common denominator here,” he said. “The ideological split is sometimes very polar, so the end result is that instead of compromise we get ‘shatnez’ (halachically unlawful hybrid between wool and linen) that doesn’t allow us to move in any direction, and it does not allow us to bring any of the changes that the people are expecting.”

Liberman said that, as far as he’s concerned, the main issue for the next government should be changing the system of government. He said the issue would be determined in the guidelines of the next government, without wasting time on various governance committees. Likud and Israel Beitenu will meet in the coming days to present an offer on this count that would be acceptable to both parties.

According to Liberman’s proposal, the head of the largest party automatically becomes prime minister. Each government will have 18 cabinet ministers and four deputy ministers. The ministers will give up their Knesset membership, to ensure the separation of powers.

The voting threshold should go up three percent, says Liberman. Removing the Prime Minister will require a special majority of 80 Knesset members, and failure to pass a budget will not dissolve the Knesset. Votes of no confidence will require 61 signatures.

All of the above proposals reflect Liberman’s mounting frustration with the workings of government over the past decade or so, as he has experienced it intimately. His notions of a solution are typically direct, if not outright brutal, favoring the larger parties at the expense of the very parties Likud-Beitenu wants to seduce into the next government: Shas and Torah Judaism. It’s no wonder, then, that he is pessimistic about the chances for an effective government.

Indeed, the new pact between the two young mavericks Lapid and Bennett has effectively created two major, right-of-center blocks: Lapid-Bennett Vs. Netanyahu-Liberman, each with exactly 31 seats. Expect Liberman to push for partnership with the other “big party” – even if it requires Netanyahu to overcome his fears of an even stronger Lapid.

Yori Yanover

Will Sara Forgive Bennett? Will Yair Adopt Mofaz?

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

The weeks between the time the elections committee closes shop and the results are final, and when the president calls in the man or woman who would be the next prime minister are as heady as draft week and as silly as spring break, but without the booze. For the next couple or three weeks, expect to hear—including from yours truly—the wildest speculations and combinations of who’s in and who’s out. Take all of it with a chunk of salt, but don’t ignore the rumors and speculations altogether, because somewhere in there hides the one true prediction.

The problem is, at this relatively early stage of the game, that even the people at the top who are expected to create the perfect coalition don’t yet know where they’re headed. As Ha’aretz revealed this morning, the country’s semi-official king and queen, Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, are doing their darndest to make sure Jewish Home is not in the coalition, because of their “murky personal relationship with the head of the party, Naftali Bennett.”

This is such a classic tale of no good deed going unpunished. Back in 2006, when Bibi Netanyahu was on the matte, beaten and defeated, probably crying in his sleep and wondering if that furniture chain store would take him back – it was Naftali Bennett and Ayala Shaked who showed up and—as volunteers—picked up the fallen politician and infused his dreadful campaign (he had just led the Likud to a 12-seat presence in the Knesset). But Bibi’s third wife, Sara, was interjecting herself into every aspect of the work, until on one harrowing day that forever changed the future of the Jewish nation, Naftali Bennett asked her politely to get out of his way and let him work. Or unfortunate words to that effect.

You don’t say things like that to your boss’s wife, and you certainly don’t say it to Sara Netanyahu. It was epic, it was Shakespearean – and not the comedies. And the bad blood from that encounter is still alive and piping hot.

According to Ha’aretz, quoting a senior Netanyahu aide, Sara has vetoed Bennett, and “if possible in terms of the government, Netanyahu certainly prefer not to include Bennett in his government.”

Incidentally, Bibi’s other ousted chief of staff, Natan Eshel, is considered Sara’s true and trusted friend, and so speculations abound that he’ll be back at the helm in the new government. He’s the guy who was sexually harassing the office help. But he gets along with Sara, which is the most crucial qualification over there.

The other reason Bibi doesn’t want Bennett in is that Bibi is planning to give back something substantial in order to revive the peace process, not just words and pretense, but an actual piece of land, which may or may not involve removing Jewish residents – and he expects that Bennett would walk out at that point. So why empower him further by giving him a stage off of which he can do a dramatic exit?

What is it with Bennett and exits, anyway?

So, if Jewish Home is out, who’s in? Top choice, of course, is Yair Lapid, the most important man in Israel today, the man who could literally decide the country’s future—even more emphatically than Sara Netanyahu, and that’s saying something.

We’ve been assuming all along that the first partner Bibi picks up would be Lapid: combine Likud-Beitenu’s 31 seats with Lapid’s 19, and you got yourself a solid foundation for a government. All you need afterwards are the Haredim—notoriously easy to buy off—and if you don’t want Bennett, then maybe Tzipi Livni, and Kadima which made it in with Shaul Mofaz and another guy. At that point you can even invite Bennett in graciously, but only give him something like Tourism, or the Ecology.

Except that Yair Lapid, who originally was talking about letting the Haredim off for five years before implementing the crucial “equal burden” principle in army service, has had a change of mind. Realizing his own voters won’t forgive that kind of largess—Five years? Might as well go for Eternity—and now he’s been saying he wants everybody in uniform at age 18, except maybe a 400 Torah geniuses (Do we actually have that many? I’m just wondering – how do you farher—test a genius?).

Yori Yanover

Netanyahu Finally Called Bennett

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Two days after the elections ended, PM Netanyahu finally decided to call HaBayit HaYehudi (Jewish Home) head Naftali Bennett.

The two did not set a time they would meet, and rumors from within the Likud before the elections said that Netanyahu would not include the “Jewish Home” party in his coalition.

Netanyahu will not be able to form a coalition of 61 without either one of the religious parties, Meretz, or the Arab parties.

Jewish Press News Briefs

How Will the Mosque be Removed?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Jeremy Gimpel jokingly mentioned in a video, one method in which the Mosque on the Temple Mount might be removed.

He said explosives.

The question is, even in jest, was Jeremy right?

With all due respect to this future MK, the answer is no, Jeremy was not right.

There are traditionally two interpretations as to how the Temple will be rebuilt.

The first is the one that, for instance, Neturei Karta firmly believes.

For them, the Temple will suddenly come down from heaven only after the Mashiach arrives (and the land is cleared of the Tsiyoinim), and human beings will have no apparent physical role in the matter.

Following the logic of that theory, the Neturei Karta apparently believe that the mosque will be squashed underneath the suddenly dropping Temple.

I wonder if they’ve bothered to mention that to their terrorist friends over tea.

But the more traditional belief is that we Jews will rebuild the Temple ourselves – and that is actually a far, far greater miracle.

So as I asked in the beginning, “What about the Mosque, which is rather inconveniently sitting where the Temple should be, how will it be removed?”

The simplistic answer is that it will be destroyed.

Jeremy (jokingly) said explosives, while others say wrecking balls and bulldozers.

A tractor working on the Temple Mount, Dec. 24th.

An Arab tractor working on the Temple Mount, Dec. 24th.

But both answers are wrong.

According to common Jewish thought, the Arabs, at the time of the Mashiach will remain in Israel – but they will fully repent.

You see, when the miracle happens that we Jews will be united in our vision that it’s time to rebuild the Temple, the Arabs will be there too, and they will lovingly dismantle the Mosque stone by stone on their own volition, and rebuild it elsewhere.

That is the second part of the miracle of the rebuilding of the Temple.

In the end, the Arabs will want peace, will recognize the spiritual value of the Temple, will recognize what they have to gain by being allies of the Jews instead of enemies, and they will then take the peaceful steps needed to properly honor and worship God.

May the Temple be speedily built in in our lifetime. Amen.

JoeSettler

Poll: Likud Shooting Back Up, Livni Sinking

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

It was bound to happen: Traditional Likud-Beitenu voters have been shopping around for better options, such as Jewish Home, not because they don’t identify with the Likud’s platform, but because they fear that Prime Minister Netanyahu might turn his back on the same platform, as he has been known to do. That mistrust was only enhanced by the fact that Netanyahu’s partner, Avigdor Liberman, is also not particularly committed to the vision of a greater Israel and the rejection of a Palestinian state. (Liberman’s legal woes couldn’t have helped, either).

But in the end, as the threats of a resurgence of the left-wing parties was becoming a reality, and the possibility of a left-led coalition government was being bandied about, many Likud-Beitenu are coming back to the mother ship. Much like American voters being forced to vote for the lesser of evils, rather than for a “shining city on the hill” candidate, the majority of right-wing Israelis will dig up a laundry clip to affix to their noses, and vote Likud-Beitenu.

Or so it turns out from the poll conducted for the news and public affairs radio channel Reshet Bet by Maagar Mochot (The name literally means “a collection of brains” and can be loosely translated as “think tank”), with a sample of 706 likely voters, with a 4.5% margin of error.

This margin of error translates into more than 5 Knesset seats, which could mean that parties that did not cross the two-seat blocking percentage will make it, while others that appear here to have squeezed through will end up outside. So this poll, like every poll, is but a snapshot of voter sentiment today – except that the closer we get to next Tuesday, Election Day, the more these numbers will start getting nailed in place.

So, with all of that in mind, here are the numbers:

Likud-Beitenu – 37

Labor – 16

Jewish Home – 13

Shas – 11

Yair Lapid – 9

Torah Judaism – 6

Meretz – 6

Tzipi Livni – 5

Kadima – 3

Power for Israel – 3

3 Arab lists – 10

Rabbi Amsalem – 1 (fails the blocking percentage)

These numbers confirm that the left wing Jewish parties are on their way out, amounting to a mere 39 seats, or 32.5% of the overall population. The Arabs, with 10 seats, or just over 8% of the population. That makes right wing and Haredi parties a seemingly insurmountable, 71-seat block, accounting for better than 59% of the overall population, and a staggering 65%, give or take, of the Jewish adult population.

It is safe to say that Israel has never been more right wing or more religious in its history, and such percentages would take more than a generation to reverse.

So, Bibi will be the next prime minister, and from these figures he should be able to cobble together a solid right-wing coalition in half and hour, even without having to invite the “bad boys” of Israel’s right wing politics from Power for Israel, Aryeh Eldad and Michael Ben Ari.

The only winner from this severe drop in the power of the left is Meretz, which, unlike the rest of the Jewish leftist parties has never denied its leftist identity. And it paid off: as soon as left wing voters realized the right will stay in charge next Tuesday, they abandoned Labor, Livni and Lapid, who have been denying their leftist agenda, describing themselves as “centrist” – in favor of a truly leftist party.

Sadly, his renewed strength (although Likud-Beitenu is still going to receive fewer seats than its current 42) would also enable Bibi to avoid Bennett and Jewish Home, partnering instead with Shas, Torah Judaism and Yair Lapid.

And the fact that Yair Lapid is the Haredi-hater’s Haredi hater should not keep everybody involved from living long and prospering together. Because, in the end, politics is about jobs and money. Ideology is merely the way you get them…

Yori Yanover

Shaked: Jewish Home Supports Civil Marriages for ‘Unweddables’

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Ayelet Shaked, the number five candidate on Jewish Home’s Knesset list, revealed for the first time in an interview for Srugim that her party will work to promote civil marriages for couples who are not entitled to marry through the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Currently, such couples must travel abroad—typically to the nearby island of Cyprus— to get married.

In an appearance before a group of voters, attended mostly immigrants from the former Soviet Union, Shaked said that she’d been working on this issue with Likud MK David Rotem, and that the two of them intend to promote it together.

“I have a friend who’s getting married in Hawaii because she’s Jewish but her partner is not – his father is Jewish and his mother had a Reform conversion,” Shaked told the meeting. “We want to allow civil marriages even in such cases. But we cannot approve of sweeping civil marriages, because we’re a religious party. But those who will not be wedded by the rabbinate – we’ll allow them to get a civil marriage, in some cases.”

Shaked noted that her party intends to promote, in addition, a significant reform of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. “The rabbinate today is only in Haredi hands,” she said. “Religious Zionist rabbis cannot advance there. It’s only a matter of political power, which is why, in the coalition agreement, we will insist on a fundamental change in the rabbinate, including the array of conversions.”

Shaked also revealed that Jewish Home will insist, as part of the coalition agreement, that the entire conversion system will be turned over to them. “We will demand to head the conversion system and to work towards accelerated conversions according to Jewish Law. Jewish law permits faster and more convenient conversions,” she said.

Ayelet Shaked is the top ranked woman on the list, and the first ever non-religious woman to represent the party in its 100 year history.

The Jewish Home’s official stand on civil marriages is very different from what Shaked has been endorsing. In a statement of principles the party submitted to Srugim earlier in the campaign, they wrote:

“The main problem with civil marriages is that one who marries not in accordance with Jewish Law loses his or her main instrument with which their descendants could prove their Jewishness. Within a generation or two, the children of couples [who wed in a civil ceremony] will not be able to prove their Jewishness when they decide to get married according to Jewish law. Civil marriages are a great danger that could turn us into two nations – Jewish according to Halacha, and Jewish according to consciousness.”

When confronted with this statement, Shaked walked back part of her own statement, saying she is only supporting civil marriages in cases where both applicants are not Jewish according to Halacha.

Yori Yanover

Permission to Attack: The Likud-Beitenu’s Ad Last Night

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Television in Israel last night saw another round of election ads. Tuesday night’s advertisement by Likud-Bietenu was positive, highlighting the achievements of the government over the last four years. Wednesday night’s, however, attacked the members of the Jewish Home’s candidate list.

Here’s the video, followed by the English translation:

In English:

“Who is really hiding behind Bennett’s smiles?

“Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan number four on the Jewish Home’s list called for the removal of the committee on the status of women.

“Orit Struck, number ten, who called to levy a legal ‘price tag’ from IDF commanders and the police.

“Moti Yogev, number nine, that led the separation of boys and girls in Bnei Akiva.

“Harav Dov Lior, the spiritual leader, who said Baruch Goldstein is holy like the holy ones (victims) of the Holocaust.

“Harav Zalman Melamed who called on soldiers to refuse an order.

“This is the real Jewish Home (party). Before you vote, check whom you are voting for.”

The last time Likud-Beitenu attacked Bennett on his “refusing orders” statement (which he recanted later) and then on the same issue of the other members of the Jewish Home, many people were upset that the Likud was attacking the Jewish Home. “Why aren’t they attacking the left uniting the nationalist camp?” they complained. The notion that one cannot attack a party or politicians who agree with you on ideological issues is absurd.  For month’s Bennett has been attacking the Likud and many members of his list have been doing so publicly for years. (Ayellet Shaked of course was a Likud member until six months ago and based on her appearance in the My Likud magazine probably intended to run in the primaries, so she has not previously attacked the Likud). To say that the Likud can’t criticize Jewish Home in kind is to say that the Likud must standby as the Jewish Home takes its voters.

As for unity of the nationalist camp, if the Jewish Home or Bennett wanted a united nationalist camp they wouldn’t have a separate party. Half the point of political parties is for people to collectively campaign for public support. The nature of campaigning in a democracy is you are either with a party or you are against it. There are many of us in the nationalist camp who have chosen the path of national unity by joining the Likud even though we disagree with certain policies or statements by a Likud Prime Minister. Like Menachem Begin, we believe in a big-tent nationalist movement that can ensure Israel stays on a path towards success and security for generations to come. Of course it takes work and vigilance to ensure that the movement stays on that path, but the election of the MKs on the Likud’s list, the vast majority of whom publicly oppose Palestinian statehood, proves that such work pays off.

If Bennett and others wanted national unity they would have either joined the Likud or they would have at least offered to merge lists prior to the election. If that were the case, they would preserve their right to leave or vote against the government as a group, but leading up to the election the Right would have a united front. They probably could have gotten between 7-10 seats in a united nationalist list for that. But that was not their goal, instead they sought to go after the maximum seats possible, by taking voters from Likud and Yisrael Beitenu.

But the inquiry into whether an attack is fair or not does not stop there. It is fair, and perhaps even obligatory for a public figure to be attacked on something that was negative true. A party or a politician has the right to show why he is / they are better for public office than a competitor. And, the public has a right to know about troubling things candidates have said and done.

There are, however, limits on what constitutes a fair attack. An attack should not, for instance, be misleading. A quote should not be taken out of context to the extent that someone reading or hearing the quote believes the candidate meant something that he did not.

Daniel Tauber

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/hadar/permission-to-attack-the-likud-beitenus-attack-ad-last-night/2013/01/10/

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